We had to go shopping today -- the older kids and I, that is.
Normally, I don't go shopping on Sundays. I try to make it a day of rest for us, and therefore I don't want to encourage others to work and take away *their* rest, either. However, the older kids were in DESPERATE need of some shoes, and we really couldn't wait until next weekend (and if you think I was going to load all 7 kids into the big Kahuna bus and shlep them to various shoe stores... loading and unloading the little ones from their car seats... and somehow miraculously find shoes for 3 while nursing one and explaining to the younger 3 why they were NOT getting shoes, you're crazy!!!)
So, off we went. It was a cold, drizzly day here in South Carolina, and I'm sure you can imagine the scene: back and forth from car to stores, hustling quickly to keep from getting too wet. Finally, we found something for everyone, and we drove home. I don't know about you, but I have always found a certain comfort in driving in light rain, especially at night. There's something about the "icky-ness" of the weather outside, and the fact that I'm nestled securely in my car with the heater warming up my little toes, that just makes me feel blissfully happy.
Call me crazy... but I digress...
Anyway, we hustled home fairly exhausted around 5:30, and I found myself mentally juggling all sorts of dinnertime options, trying to figure out what I could possibly whip up for my family this late in the evening.
I needn't have worried.
As I walked into the kitchen door I was greeted by the warmth of my home and the fantastic aroma of dinner prepared by my husband -- teriyaki chicken, risotto, bread, and steamed vegetables.
No, he doesn't normally cook, so this was HUGE! The man has never made risotto in his life, and yet there he was, cooking like a pro. The same guy who griped about making shepherd's pie because "it had too many steps to follow" actually GRATED an orange, minced garlic, chopped onions, basted the chicken, etc etc etc.
Oh. And he did all of this while taking care of the 4 youngest kids. There was Grace, sitting in her bouncy seat on the table, gurgling away as Daddy cooked up this feast for us.
The point of all of this, however, is not just to praise my sweetie for doing this for us (as FANTASTIC as it was!!), but to say how incredible it was to come home after a long afternoon and to be greeted with the warmth and smells of home.
THIS is one way we minister to our husbands and children every day. Do you remember how secure and comforted YOU felt when you came home from school, or after a long day outside, and your Mom had prepared something delicious for you? Praise God, now *I* am the Mom. Now *I* am the one who is normally doing this for my family, and tonight I got a glimpse of just HOW comforting that really is for them.
I had forgotten.
This week, I will try to remember, in the midst of the chaos, how incredibly happy it made me to be greeted that way, and rejoice in the fact that I am doing this for my family. I will thank the Lord that I can make my husband's day just a little bit better, and that I am implanting deep-seated feelings of comfort and happiness in my children's minds, that they will remember when they are adults.